Gardening Chores for December
• Take a break for a while, as long as the last of the leaves have been raked and the grass has been
mowed that last time.
• Maintain holiday plants longer by placing them away from heat sources such as air vents, woodstoves
• If you are cutting holiday greenery from the landscape, keep good pruning practices in mind. Use
sharp pruners to make cuts at branch angles or leaf nodes and keep an eye on the shape of the
• Inspect house plants, especially any that spent the summer outdoors. They often carry in small
insects such as scale, mealybugs, whiteflies and spider mites.
• After nighttime temperatures are regularly below freezing, The strawberry bed can be covered with
straw or row cover fabric. Pull weeds first.
• Grape vines may be pruned. Use vines for wreath making.
• Remove asparagus ferns now that they have died.
• Carrots, parsnips, beets and turnips can be dug all winter if the ground does not freeze. You may
want to cover the bed with a few inches of straw to prevent freezing.
• Catalog shopping begins in earnest this month. Seed and plant catalogs can be an excellent source
of information on vegetable and flower varieties to consider for next year’s garden.
NC Christmas Trees by the Numbers
At least 20 square feet: Amount of greenspace available to wildlife for each Christmas tree grown.
100: Least amount of times each Christmas tree is visited to be shaped, fertilized, and otherwise cared for.
5-6 million: Christmas trees harvested annually.
5+: Age of some eastern grown species when harvested. Fraser fir, which is slower growing, is typically
10+ years to harvest.
More than a dozen: Christmas tree species grown in North Carolina. Trees include Fraser fir, Canaan fir,
Concolor fir, Nordman fir, Turkish fir, blue spruce, Norway spruce, white spruce, eastern red cedar, Leyland cypress, ‘Carolina Saphire’ Arizona cypress, ‘Blue Ice’ Arizona cypress, ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae, white pine, Virginia pine, and Scotch pine. However, 96% or more of production is the state’s native tree:
Zero: Amount of waste from a cut Christmas tree – a completely recyclable, renewable product.
To learn more about the NC Christmas Tree Industry, it’s history and what makes the Fraser Fir such a
great Christmas tree visit : http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/xmas/